Are Social Networking Dollars Worth it?

GM pulls from Facebook Stock

Recent news that GM has pulled $10M out of investment in Facebook because it “has little impact on costumer car purchases” lends to more speculation of the company’s just launched IPO. That left me wondering in what world does GM marketers live in that they think social media has little impact?

The problem is not that Facebook (and it’s billion users) have little impact, but that whoever is managing GM’s advertising budget thinks it can play by broadcast and print rules despite our digital world. Something I like to compare to playing monopoly with chess pieces.

Let me explain:

As I’ve mentioned before in my entry about storytelling in the age of technology, digital — and particularly social media — has created a new set of rules for marketing and advertising. The passive ads that once worked well for print and broadcast media are unlikely to have the same results no matter how creative or brilliant they may be. For digital audiences, reading is not enough; they want to participate. Ads, banners and other intrusive tactics can’t compete with the on-going conversations digital media encourages.

In other words, digital is not just another medium; it’s a different way to interact, and that calls for robust narratives open to debate and interpretation. Advertising is transforming into content, capable of listening, talking, engaging and amusing.

Not only have the pieces of the game changed, so have the rules. A winning strategy used to be guaranteed with a deep pocket. The old equation: cost per impact, frequency, and reach were set in stone and ensured to corner an audience. Today the strategy is less numerical and more analytical. Every move produces data, and it is in how a company uses this information that determines its success.

But not all companies are confused by this new world. Just look at this new ad, Coca Cola content 2012 video, that shows how the brand continues to top it’s game by understanding the rules of the digital arena.

In the meantime, at our agency, we have spent the past three years reinventing ourselves. Combining the best of both worlds, using strategic pieces, such as robust branding stories and accurate direct conversations, to play in the everyday changing gameboard of digital and social media. And we find this quite exciting.

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May 20th, 2012 6 Comments Social Networking

  1. Eduard Duard

    GM has been ran from conventional business executive all it’s life. For me is not surprised at all that they are pulling out from the Facebook stocks. Old dinosaurs…..

    May 20th, 2012 //
  2. ftpmumbojumbo

    It has worked for them but sooner that later they will have to rethink their ride

    May 20th, 2012 //
  3. Ricki Fairley

    You can’t always blame the media vehicle for results. Maybe it’s the creative that didn’t do the job. Maybe and very likely, it’s the strategy that led to the messaging that missed the mark here. Remember what David Ogilvy said,” 50% of all advertising is useless. We just don’t know which 50%.” Frankly, one of the best things about digital advertising is that it is measurable. You can see the results in almost real time. And if it’s not working, you can change it up very quickly. Can GM really even measure their traditional advertising or are they possibly not willing to admit that maybe their digital is off-strategy? I actually love being at the pulse and fingertips of consumers. Hmmmm….

    May 20th, 2012 //
  4. ftpmumbojumbo

    Absoluitelly Ricky, the beauty of digital is that there is plenty of data for each move and you don’t need to invest 10million to discover you (not the media) are in the wrong direction.

    May 20th, 2012 //
  5. JBJW

    I have to agree with Ricki, a bad creative can do a whole difference.

    PD: You have to like somebody that quotes D. Ogilvy, nowadays the heroes are in music and sports. Great minds are being unrecognized in many of the creative fields out there

    Thanks for a great post.

    John Bon Johavis Witness

    May 21st, 2012 //
  6. BMJ

    Definitely David Ogilvy had a great deal to say about our line of work. He has shaped the way we look at marketing today.

    Thanks JBJW :)

    May 21st, 2012 //

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